Important information

What are business rates?

Business rates

Business rates are a tax on property used for business purposes. We've outlined some of the key business rate considerations below to help keep you right.

Do I need to pay business rates?

If you occupy a building – or part of one – that is non-residential, then you’ll likely be required to pay business rates.

Business rates are collected by your local council who keep a proportion of what is paid, and use it to fund the cost of local services.

Calculate my rate

How are rates calculated?

Find out how your rates are set, and by who.

What will you pay?

The amount you have to pay is based on the rateable value of your property. This is calculated by Valuation Office Agency (VOA), a government body that provides valuations and property advice that is needed to support taxation and benefits.

The occupier of the commercial property is almost always the individual that will have to pay business rates. Usually, this will be the owner, leaseholder or subtenant.

How can I pay?

Find out how you can make regular business rate payments.

Payment options

Most people who pay business rates set up a direct debit to ensure payment is sent at the right time each month (or however often your local council requires payment).

Help calculating your rates

Support to help you work out what you will pay.

What will you pay?

The government provides information on its website to help you estimate your business rates.

Use this handy online government business rate estimator to find out how much you are likely to pay.

I need help paying

A helping hand

We all struggle financially from time to time. Get in touch if you need some help working things out.

Help is available

If you cannot pay, are having financial difficulties, or don't believe you are required to pay what is being asked of you, consult your council at the earliest opportunity.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with us and a member of the team will be happy to help.

Business rate discounts

You may be eligible for business rate relief or discounts.

Business rate relief

It may be possible for you to get a discount on your business rates if you are eligible for a particular business rate relief scheme.

If your business is a charity, or is based in a rural area, for example, you may be entitled to a reduction. You can check the Gov.uk website to see if you are entitled to any financial support.

What if I don't pay?

It's really important to pay the rates required of you.

Failure to pay

If you continue to ignore reminders and notices, you may be taken to court. Should it be found that you have not provided the payments required of you, then the council could resort to using a bailiff to seize your goods and possessions.

There is also the chance that you could end up being handed a prison sentence. 

I work from home

Am I exempt?

If you work from home, then you may not have to business rates. If you use a small part of your house to run a business (a spare bedroom converted into an office, for example) or your business is based around selling goods to be sent via post, then it’s unlikely you will have to pay business rates.

In some cases however...

There are particular scenarios that will result in you having to pay both council tax and business rates.

Example scenarios

  • If your property is part domestic and part business – if you live in a flat that is located above your shop, for example
  • If you employ other people to work at your property

Get in touch

To discuss this further or if you have any questions, get in touch with your Relationship Manager or local Business Growth Enabler.

If you don’t have their number to hand, our customer support team can help book an appointment for you.

Telephone: 0345 7114477 (24 hours)